Continueing our series of articles on cableing, this week we are talking about Serial Digital Interface (SDI). SDI is a video signal used to send uncompressed, un-encrypted digital video signals. It can also include embedded audio. SDI signal was first standardized in 1989. Since then the standard SDI signal has upgraded to HD-SDI (1080i/720p), 3G SDI (1080p), 6G SDI (4k @30hz), and 12G SDI (4k @60hz).
The longer distance you are trying to run the signal or the higher the quality signal you are trying to achieve, will require a higher specification of cable and BNC connector. Now, just upgrading the cabling in your system will not necessarily give you a higher SDI signal! An important thing to keep in mind is that to be able to produce a signal such as 12G SDI video, every single component in that system must support that as well! So, you may have the right camera and cable, but if your video switcher can only receive HD-SDI, that will be the highest quality you will be able to use.
We recommend, especially when building a new system or revamping an old system, to make sure the core components, like a switcher or a video router, is at the final desired SDI signal level. Then you can begin to upgrade the components going in and out of the system as your budget allows. If you aren't sure about your system's SDI ability, don't hesitate to ask! That's what we're here for!
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